Your preference sucks!

Today I saw a man buying a country music CD at the mall. “Country music?!?!”, I asked him, with a look of disgust.

Later, a lady at the grocery store was buying cherry Pop-Tarts. I explained to her that the strawberry-flavored Pop Tarts are far superior in every way, and that she definitely needed to make the switch.

Finally, I went to a friend’s house for dinner, but later refused to eat once I found out that he served a brand of ham other than the brand I prefer.

What kind of person acts this way? Unfortunately… Cigar smokers do.

Lately I’ve been noticing more and more acts of snobbery being committed by members of the cigar smoking community online and in my local shops. The comments I’m hearing range from polite to downright insulting, but the underlying message is the same: “your preference sucks.”

For those of us in the United States, 2009 will likely be the toughest, most oppressing year ever, in terms of our ability to enjoy a cigar. The poor economy will make it tough to justify the purchase, and even make it harder for local shops to remain in business. The restrictions on where we can smoke will reduce our opportunity. Upcoming tax increases could put cigars out of our financial reach.

Let’s not make it even tougher on our fellow brothers and sisters of the leaf by insulting their preference. Just like coffee or tea, Coke or Pepsi, people have taste preferences that can never be boiled down to a right or wrong choice. Even the cheapest cigars have a distinct flavor that somebody loves. Even the most expensive and highly rated cigars taste horrible to some people.

The bottom line is that the only person who should tell you what you like is… YOU.

So whether it’s a Montecristo or Macanudo, Acid or Aurora, Fonseca or Fuente, enjoy your cigar, respect your brothers and sisters of the leaf, and have a safe and happy 2009!